White wins positive job review from BESE

State Superintendent of Education John White won a satisfactory job review from Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday after a four-hour closed meeting.

Also, White’s contract will remain a month-to-month agreement after earlier talk of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voting on the issue.

White said afterwards he was generally pleased with the review.

In a brief interview, the superintendent said his score was 3.0 out of 4.

Last year it was 3.166 out of 4.

White said later on Twitter that strengths on his evaluation included literacy gains, improvements on a test of college readiness called ACT and progress on the high school graduation rate, students earning early college credit and industry-based credentials.

He said a “significant  weakness” on the review was academic progress by English learners, who were outpaced by students statewide.

After the closed meeting, BESE President Gary Jones told the small audience that White got a satisfactory rating.

“It was an honest discussion of the issues at hand,” Jones said later when asked about the length of the session.

The latest job check means White is considered effective/proficient, the second highest level on the measuring stick also used to rate public school teachers.

Earlier BESE member Kathy Edmonston, who lives in Gonzales, said she wanted the board to vote on White’s contract.

But no such vote took place, and those in the meeting said there was no push to do so.

“My hope is really to just keep working for the kids,” White said of his contract. 

Edmonston could not be reached for comment.

Jones said a majority of BESE members are content with White’s contract status.

Edmonston has said that, while she works well with the superintendent, her BESE constituents do not back him.

White has also clashed with Gov. John Bel Edwards on a wide range of public school issues.

However, even with his three appointees on BESE the superintendent generally enjoys the support of 7 of BESE’s 11 members.

Much of the four-hour session focused on details on White’s job performance, and how BESE plans to do so next year, officials said.

White has gotten favorable reviews in his four previous job assessments by BESE.

He has been superintendent since 2012.

BESE sets policies for about 700,000 public school students statewide, and White is in charge of carrying them out.

White has been working on a month-to-month contract for the past 18 months.

Backers have not had enough support to extend the agreement, and critics are short of the votes needed to fire him.

A member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education said Monday she wants the …

White is paid $275,000 per year.

The job review came one day after the U. S. Department of Education approved Louisiana’s plan to revamp public schools to comply with a federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The quick approval was considered a win for White, who played a major role in crafting the blueprint.

Check back with The Advocate for more details.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.

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